Tuesday, April 21, 2009

OFF-TOPIC - Britains Got Talent 2009 - Susan Boyle

I rarely put posts out of context here, but I think Susan Boyle deserves a moment in this blog. Susan has 47 years, is unemployed and wants to be a professional singer... Watch the video and then see my first comment about it...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

BI Guest Corner – BI Becomes Military Intelligence

Today, I will start a new type of posts… and I’ll call it BI Guest Corner.

I will publish articles directly from visitors of “our blog”. Feel free to send me an article or some subject do you think that will be interesting and related with Business Intelligence… For example if you are currently attending a Master BI Degree or if you are involved in an interesting project, why you don’t share with us your experience? Feel free… this blog is for you and for the people that has passion on this… I'm proud that this blog receive about 80 different visitors per day... Thanks for your attention!

This article was written by Katie Wilson and I really love this article… Thanks Katie!

BI has been used for a while now in helping corporations collect, analyze and make sense of their vast amounts of data so that they’re able to make more informed decisions that benefit their organization. It’s time for a change of arena though, and the tools of business intelligence are being used intelligently by the U.S. Department of Defense to help track and monitor injured military personnel who are transported for medical care to various places around the world depending on their locations.

The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have fueled the necessity for such a system, which is why the U.S. Transportation Command has sought the services of Information Builders’ WebFocus business intelligence tools. The Transcom Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (Trac2es) allows the monitoring of military personnel who need medical attention while they’re in transit so that the necessary arrangements can be made for them when they reach the location of the medical facility. This allows for more effective and personalized treatment depending on the condition of each wounded or sick man.

The system includes tools for decision support, reporting and analysis, and when information regarding location and medical needs are fed in, it facilitates medical and military personnel to make better and more informed decisions. This will enable patients to receive the best medical care in the shortest possible time.
The system also allows the tracking of military personnel who have not been injured in the line of duty but who need medical attention anyway and are able to take commercial flights to get to the location of the medical facility.

The goal of the system is to improve the treatment that the injured receive and to keep the military high command informed about their condition. Besides this, it also helps improve planning for the future so that mistakes can be eliminated and patient care made more effective.

Trac2es is a multi-user system that is used by around 2,500 personnel including doctors, nurses, medical clerks and military leaders.

This post was contributed by Katie Wilson, who writes about the accreditation for online universities. She welcomes your feedback at KatieWilson06 at gmail.com

Thursday, April 9, 2009

BI Conference - Self-Service BI with Rafal

Finally I found some time to describe the session that Rafal, following Microsoft invitation, held here in Portugal. As I already wrote in previous posts, Rafal in their specialty is the best in the world. A simple and objective way to show the concepts of Business Intelligence reconciled with several practical demonstrations are fantastic. Of course I attend these moments with great intensity, because they contribute, not only to continue learning, but also to mark and remember these moments. I will describe, in my opinion, the more relevant key points of the presentation.

The first point was approaching the concept of BI as a tool for self-service, where users are rewarded by a high level of autonomy for their daily needs for information.

The second point was the interesting and comical suggestion to be followed by consultants, when they want to sell their Data Warehousing solutions... they should not try to sell a Data Warehouse, but try to sell KPI's... this advise should be follow because the managers do not understand much of these technologies and are more attracted by KPI for making a mapping between their business and technology

The third point was the OLAP off-line functionality, which although this functionality already exists since Excel 2003, only now is beginning to gain more strength with the increasing importance that Excel is having nowadays. (These offline/Local cubes can be browsed by most OLAP client tools)

The fourth point is on the increasing quality of data mining Microsoft products. The feeling is that there is still a little more to move on this matter to “fight” against some competitors such as SAS (Enterprise Miner)... But it promises ... and in my BI thesis I'll show until where

The fifth and final point to highlight is the explanation of the strategy for Microsoft Performance Point Server product... especially on the discontinuation of the Planning module and the inclusion of the monitoring module through SharePoint product... soon will be called the Performance SharePoint Services.
I hope you have left with the feeling of having been present

Friday, April 3, 2009

BI Discussion - Concepts Oriented vs Tools Oriented

Today I will talk about an issue that I think it matters to all IT professionals... which is until the point that we should guide by the concepts and tools? There surely a point of equilibrium between the two and for that reason I’m opening this discussion to hear from you.

The recent discontinuation of the performance point server Planning module by Microsoft, was alerting me to an important problem that starts becoming increasingly important, mainly for high increasing of globalization.

In our day to day during the work or during the leisure time, we should give more importance to the concepts or to the tools? Well ... it seems a simple question to answer ... but in fact there are many professionals in this area of BI that are very targeted to the tools ... which on the one hand can give an advantage to acquire a unique know-how, but on the other hand, is somewhat to isolate that knowledge, which could bring great disappointments fruit of great changes and development of technology that is easy to aware. Who guarantees us, that tools like SAS, Microsoft, Microstrategy, Cognos, SAP ... will not be used less or simply disappear?

So, I’m increasingly seeking knowledge through concepts, for example acquired during my master BI degree at ISCTE (MSIAD), which started in 2007. So many of you ask me ... then why are you an unconditional fan of Microsoft tools? And I say that for the simple reason of being a company with a strategy geared to the communities, for customers and for students, and has tools for easily accessible, portable, flexible and a great community always ready to help ... (where you can find me at the MSDN forums or in Experts-Exchange)

With Microsoft, is easy to implement concepts in practice with their more intuitive and simple tools, because besides the risk of opting for Microsoft to be lower due to its policy of acquisitions really strong (For example the acquisition of Panorama, ProClarity, some Dundas funtionalities, DataAlegro, Mobicomp, and some day Yahoo...) there is a lower risk in terms of knowledge ... because in spite of wasting long time learning the tools, we can release time for learning the concepts that it’s for me one of the keys to success.

An interesting research from DM Review can give you a better perception about the most used tools and the reasons to be on the top… take a look
And since we talk about keys to success, I would ask you another question... What in your perspective, the other keys to success? Do you have discovered it yet? Well ... unlike the previous question, this is undoubtedly not easy to answer ... in my opinion, the other keys to success are with no doubt the motivation and the professionalism that we show in our day to day.

By Motivation I mean focused on ourselves and in what encourage us day to day, to be better and better.

By Professionalism I mean:
Our image to others. Reflects the level of consistency, punctuality and the capacity to assume our mistakes and errors
Be organized Reflects the capacity to be organized. As my project management teacher told us in the classes, if you are not organized, how you are able to convince the others that you can organize or manage their projects?

Help me identify the keys to success! Leave your opinion... This is just my first draft...


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